In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, thousands of Union County residents were affected by power outages, with some residents still waiting for power to be restored. The Freeholder Board is urging residents still experiencing an outage to exercise extreme caution when using generators, candles and other alternative power sources.
Carbon monoxide exposure from generators used during power outages after storms is a serious health risk that can lead to hospitalization.
“Generators can cause carbon monoxide poisoning when used improperly, resulting in serious illness or death,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “No matter what fuel your generator uses, be sure to follow safety and usage instructions.”
Carbon monoxide is a gas that gives no warning. It cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can easily be confused with symptoms of common colds or the flu.
“If you suspect CO poisoning, handle it as a medical emergency,” said Mirabella. “Call 911 immediately and let the responders know about any generators or alternative fuel sources in or near your home.”
County residents and businesses using generators are urged to review the manufacturer’s warnings and safety instruction during power outages. These include:
- Never place generators indoors. That includes basements, garages and sheds as well as homes and other buildings.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for positioning your generator outdoors. Generally that means at least 20 feet away from your building and any adjacent building.
Additional safety tips from the US Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov/co
For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, visit ucnj.org/coronavirus-update.
For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the online Contact Form.
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